David Morris saves GP from erasure and persuades MPTS to allow him to continue to practise with conditional registration

David Morris represented a high profile GP who had been chairman of his local Clinical Commissioning Group with responsibility for a multi-million pound budget.

The doctor faced numerous allegations of dishonesty including:

  • getting a receptionist to forge his GP partner’s signature on a life insurance application form;
  • witnessing the signature on the Will of an elderly hospital in-patient suffering from Parkinson’s disease and dementia when he knew that the patient may have lacked sufficient mental capacity;
  • failing to disclose his Out of Hours (OOH) work to the GMC and
  • failing to disclose his interim GMC suspension to the OOH employer.

The doctor was also charged with Deficient Professional Performance having done poorly in a GMC clinical assessment. He admitted this allegation.

The MPTS Panel only found one allegation of dishonesty proved: the life insurance forgery. While finding his witnessing of the Will ill-advised, the Panel was not satisfied that it was actually dishonest.

On the proved facts the GMC sought the doctor’s erasure from the Medical Register. Unusually for a case of dishonesty the Panel were persuaded that neither erasure nor suspension was necessary to maintain public confidence in the medical profession. They were satisfied that their finding of Impairment coupled with a substantial period (3 years) of conditional registration would send a clear message to the public and the profession as to the seriousness of his misconduct.

David Morris was instructed by Simon Kernyckyj and Amy Wilson of Radcliffes LeBrasseur and supported by Sarah Townley of the Medical Protection Society.

Anthony Haycroft defends dentist in GDC fitness to practise case

Anthony Haycroft has represented a General Dental Practitioner in a 7-day Professional Conduct Committee hearing covering substantial clinical failings in complex restorative dentistry in two different patients.

The failings ranged from inadequate treatment planning, assessment and diagnosis, incorrect use of radiographs, poor record-keeping, poor periodontal assessment and treatment and failure to obtain informed consent. Numerous failings were admitted and the remainder were effectively withdrawn after discussion between the experts.

The defence made clear from the outset that misconduct was accepted, but presented substantial remediation evidence to show no current impairment. The GDC sought then to argue for impairment on public interest grounds, however the defence’s counter-arguments were accepted and no impairment was found.

Anthony Haycroft was instructed by Deepika Raino of RadcliffesLeBrasseur and supported by John Kocierz of Dental Protection.

Bridget Dolan represents brain damaged patient in withdrawal of treatment case

Bridget Dolan represented the patient (through the Official Solicitor) in this medically and ethically complex case concerning an application to withdraw treatment from a man in a minimally conscious state.

Mr Justice Newton accepted Bridget’s arguments that when assessing the value of life from the particular perspective of this patient, there was strong evidence from the accounts of his family and based on his religious beliefs, that any life, no matter how profoundly disabled, would be considered by him to be of significant value.

The judge found that life-preserving treatment was neither futile nor burdensome and that, despite his profound brain injury, his present life was one P would find worthwhile, even though many others would not adopt the same position.

The treatment has therefore been continued.

Eloise Power appears for the GDC in High Court hearing

Eloise Power has represented the GDC in a hearing concerning challenges to IOC decisions under s32 of the Dentists Act.

The hearing established that the IOC and Court’s function in relation to an interim order is one of risk assessment and that there is no threshold specified in the legislation.

In his judgment, Warby J stated:

“I accept the submission of Miss Power that the function of the IOC and the court in relation to an interim order is one of risk assessment. This necessarily requires that attention is paid to the nature of the allegations and the evidence which is relied upon to support them. The fact that it is an exercise of risk assessment cannot justify the court ignoring the need to pay attention to the quality of the evidence and the possibility or prospect that it may not be sufficient to justify the view that there is a risk. But there is no threshold specified in the legislation other than the need to protect the public, the public interest and, where applicable, the interests of the registrant. It is not a question of the threshold of a prima facie case.”

Please click here to read the full judgment.